Utah Highway Patrol officers who were hit by vehicles Thursday during a blitzkrieg of freezing rain and major freeway pileups say they are lucky and grateful to escape with their lives. Troopers Kristopher Cope, David Brooke and Sterling Clark were each hit along I-15 and trooper Joshua Porter was hit near 1900 West in Farr West during some of Utah’s worst road conditions in memory. Each officer was hit while attending to accidents that had been caused by slick conditions. None experienced life-threatening injuries, but each spent the rest of the day recovering and urging motorists to slow down and give them more room at crash scenes. Cope was thrown 15 feet after responding to a crash on southbound I-15 near 1300 South. He had just exited his car to assist the driver who had hit him from behind when another car slammed into the pileup. Brooks, a 16-year UHP veteran, has been hit while on the job four times prior to Thursday, when he was hit in his car near the southbound 5300 South exit. He said he feels lucky to have avoided serious injury on each occasion. Brooks said he wishes drivers would recognize the risks of not adjusting their speed to the weather. Trooper Steven Winward said commuter’s drive recklessly close to shouldered vehicles on a daily basis along the main corridor of I-15. “Not only do drivers put our lives at risk but they put their lives at risk,” Winward said. “It’s better to go slow and make it there safely rather than not make it there at all.” Drivers who fail to shift lanes to move farther from trooper vehicles are subject to a misdemeanor fine under Utah’s “Move Over” law.” Salt Lake and Utah counties reported 179 total freeway accidents last Thursday due to the severe weather conditions.
1Law would like to urge everyone who is on the roads to slow down. The roads are very slick, wet and or frozen loosing control of your car can happen in a spilt second. If you or anyone you know is injured in a motor accident please contact the great staff at 1Law we can assist you with any personal injury need you may have